Monday, March 29, 2010

Q&A: Emulating Emerald City

Dear Jackie,

I need to add more color to my life! I live in a rental (with my little dog, too), and my landlord is a real witch. She won't let me paint or change the flooring, and everything feels so boring and colorless! It's all just black and white. I'm someone who loves rainbows of color! I love puttin' on my favorite pair of red heels and heading out to the city. How can I bring more color into my home?

D. Gale from Kansas

Dear D.,

Ugh, your landlord sounds awful. Someone should drop a house on her or something. Well, I'm no wizard, but I can definitely help you with your problem! There are tons of ways to add color to your place without painting, wallpapering, or putting down new carpet. You're a gal who loves shoes, so you'll understand when I say it's all about the accessories!

First off, the biggies: slipcovers, rugs, and curtains. While I wouldn't recommend getting a brightly-colored couch (as we discussed before, there's too big a risk of you changing your tastes with time), you can get a brightly-colored slipcover instead. You could also try a colorful area rug -- yes, you can put it over your existing boring carpet just fine. Finally, swap out dull blinds for bold-hued curtains. These items are large-scale and can really dictate the look of an entire room. When done well, you can almost forget that the walls themselves are hospital-white!

But there are more subtle ways of bringing the rainbow into your room using your accessories. Go for a patterned lampshade instead of a common white one. You can also take your objets d'art (vases, bowls, knickknacks) and spray paint them all the same, bright color. This works especially well when you've got several similar items whose original colors don't go together -- once they're all the same color, they can pass for a set!

And of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't throw down -- with throw blankets and throw pillows, of course! Throws are probably the fastest and easiest way to introduce color to your place. They're a livingroom and bedroom staple, but they come in so many different shapes and colors the possibilities are endless. Pattern makers like Marimekko and Amy Butler are popular, but I've got another designer I'd like to recommend... ME! Yep, the ALTER line of pillows is in the works. As with everything here at ALTER, we're mixing the old and the new. We're using a lot of brightly-colored fabrics, and adding to it with things like dyed doilies, crochet flowers, sequins, fun button fasteners and unique stones... I may be biased, D., but I definitely think you should check it out when it debuts!

Well, D., I hope that helps with your color problem. Once you've brightened up your place, I'm sure you'll soon find that there's no place like home...

Pictures via Apartment Therapy: Los Angeles.

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